EXCLUSIVE: ‘Zombieland’ Writers Visiting ‘G.I. Joe’ Headquarters, Planning For ‘New Characters’

Being a huge “G.I. Joe” fan, I’ll be the first to admit that last year’s “The Rise of Cobra” was a pretty massive disappointment. But, being a fan of “Zombieland,” I’ll also be the first to say I’m excited about the fact that the film’s two writers have been hired to pen the sequel. To paraphrase Michael Corleone: Just when I thought I was out (roughly around the time Marlon Wayans put on that stupid robot suit), they pull me back in.

Recently, we caught up with red-hot screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick – and they assured us that their “G.I. Joe” sequel will be something closer to the roots of the toyline.

“We’re excited,” explained Wernick. “Rhett was such a huge ‘G.I. Joe’ fan growing up, as was I.”

So much so, that Reese has already made his own G.I. Joe film… well, kinda. “My very first movie was a ‘G.I. Joe’ movie; I used the little ‘G.I. Joe’ action figures [as my actors],” he said, laughing. “I was like 9; the sad thing was that I figured I could do stop-motion with a video camera – and we know that stop motion doesn’t work with a video camera for anyone who’s ever tried it, especially the old video cameras – so, I realized pretty quickly that it wouldn’t be a seamless motion. I’d set them up, deliver the lines.”

“We can say that we will be faithful to the first film,” Reese explained of their plans for the sequel. “We will not be ignoring events from the first in the second.”

“It will be a sequel,” added Wernick. “It will be a continuation of ’G.I. Joe’ [as it was established last summer].”

“It’s hard to think of it being any bigger; that was a big movie,” Reese said of any pressure to top the first film’s massive action sequences. “They blew up a lot of stuff. We hope for it to be as fun, that the characters really pop. We’ll be introducing some new characters.”

“We’re going out to Pawtucket, Rhode Island to the Hasbro headquarters next week,” Wernick said, explaining that the trip will help dictate who those new characters will be. “[We’ll] talk to the toy guys, take a tour of the facility, see all the old toys, the new toys and just get inspired.”

“We’re going to be open to what they have, and we’re presenting them with what we have; it will be a meeting of the minds,” Reese said of the early stage in their script development. “This is a dream come true. If I could get in a time machine and go tell my 11-year-old self this he’d be dancing, running through the street doing cartwheels… ‘G.I. Joe’ should be fun, it should be a ride. That’s what we feel like ‘Zombieland’ was, and we hope to bring that to the ‘G.I. Joe’ franchise also.”

What do you think? Are the “Zombieland” guys the right people to turn the “G.I. Joe” ship around?